MUME: Multi Users in Middle Earth

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MUME: Multi Users in Middle Earth
Video game
PlatformOnline (Telnet)
Release date1992[1][2][3]

Multi-Users in Middle-earth (MUME) is a free and unlicensed player versus player text-based online role-playing game, set in J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional world of Middle-earth, as described in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.[4][5][6] The game was released in 1992[3] and has been continually enhanced since its inception in the fall of 1991.[7]

Game characteristics

The game is set during Middle-earth's late Third Age, taking place nearly 100 years prior to The Hobbit and running through the entire events narrated within The Lord of the Rings.[5][2] In MUME players can explore and live in Middle-earth, and choose to join the epic war between the forces of Sauron and the armies of the Free peoples.[7] The action takes place between T.A. 2850 (when Gandalf finds the key to Erebor right before The Hobbit) and T.A. 3019 (just after to the events of The Lord of the Rings).[2] The world includes many locations across Middle-earth such as Eriador, the Blue Mountains, the Grey Havens, the Shire, Bree, Fornost, Tharbad, Rivendell,[8] Goblin-town, and the Mines of Moria[9] The world design is based on maps from Middle-earth Role Playing using a gridding process[9] to accurately follow the scale of Tolkien's maps.[2]

Multi-Users in Middle-earth is known for its player versus player[3][10][11] where players choose avatars to role-play the conflict and war between the armies of the Free peoples and the forces of the Dark Lord.[4] Players are able to play as an elf, dwarf, human, hobbit, orc, or troll to fight both players and non-player characters.[4] These adventures reward players with the experience and travel points necessary to level their character and attain additional power.[4]


Multi-Users in Middle-earth was started in 1991[8] by Philippe Rochat at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, who was soon joined by Claude Indermitte, Pier Donini, and David Gay.[9]

Multi-Users in Middle-earth uses the engine of DikuMUD[4][12] while the mudlib is Mudlle, a custom scripting language developed by David Gay and Gustav Hållberg.[9]


In April 1998, Multi-Users in Middle-earth was selected as The Mud Connector's Mud of the Month.[9] In a September 2000 interview with Raph Koster[10], the lead designer of Ultima Online and the chief creative officer of EverQuest II, lists Multi-Users in Middle-earth as one of the games that influenced him as a game designer by "doing such interesting things with player conflict". Multi-Users in Middle-earth was regarded by TotalBiscuit as his favorite MUD[13] and harder than Dark Souls with "crazy [...] Absolutely insane" PvP. [11] In November 2017, Multi-Users in Middle-earth creator Pier Donini was selected by the podcast Roguelike Radio to join the discussion panel on MUDs.[14]

External links


  1. "A MUME History", MUME (accessed 15 November 2020)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "MUME: Multi Users in Middle Earth", Tolkien Games (accessed 15 November 2020)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Robb, Brian J.; Simpson, Paul, Middle-earth Envisioned: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings: On Screen, On Stage, and Beyond, pp. 488
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Maloni, Kelly; Baker, Derek; Wice, Nathaniel, Net Games, pp. 78 78–79
  5. 5.0 5.1 Greenman, Ben; Maloni, Kelly; Spivey, Donna, Net Games 2, pp. 247
  6. Nayar, Pramod K., An Introduction to New Media and Cybercultures, pp. 143
  7. 7.0 7.1 "About MUME", MUME (accessed 6 February 2011)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Wolf, Mark J. P., The Routledge Companion to Imaginary Worlds, pp. 145
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 "April '98 Mud of the Month", The Mud Connector (accessed 15 November 2020)
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Raph Koster Interview", VaultNetwork (accessed 12 August 2020)
  11. 11.0 11.1 "BBC 3 interviews TotalBiscuit about online harassment and gaming", YouTube (accessed 12 August 2020)
  12. "A Historical DikuMUD List", The Last Outpost (accessed 15 November 2020)
  13. "@djWHEAT favourite MUD was MUME, Multi-Users in Middle Earth. I played a troll. If a Troll got caught in sunlight it deleted your character", Twitter (accessed 20 August 2012)
  14. "Episode 141: MUDs", Roguelike Radio (accessed 16 August 2020)